It was a smashing start (pun intended) to the decoration competition on the television show: Kirstie's Hand made Christmas 2020, Episode 8 on Channel 4. My spare ostrich egg just rolled down the table and smashed on the concrete floor inside Kirstie's marquee. That added a bit of drama to the show, I must admit. There was a sudden pin drop silence and it felt like everyone on the set had skipped a beat when the egg rolled. Thankfully it was a spare egg but that meant I only had one egg to work with.
Why I chose to work on an Ostrich egg and what was my inspiration behind the pattern?
Christmas is a time for love, joy, family, kindness, and forgiveness. It is a time to give and make memories to cherish and hold on to year after year. With everything that we all have gone through this year, all the challenges that came with Covid-19, the sense of overwhelm, uncertainty, and fear has taken up the most part of 2020. Christmas this year will be so much more special for most of us and hopefully will remind us all about that silver lining around the dark cloud.
My chosen design of a Christmas lantern Father Christmas on his sleigh with a bag full of presents, flying high amidst the stars. Placed on the LED lamp base, as the light shines through the intricate carvings, it hopefully instills a feeling of comfort, solace, positivity, and cheers for the festive season.
How long did it take me to actually finish the Ostrich eggshell Lantern after going on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas?
We had 4 hours to finish for the competition on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas in Episode 8. This eggshell took 45 days more, to create. A very slow and patient process I went on to carve and engrave more stars to create a delicate lace pattern and cut out elements of father Christmas and his sleigh.
I then hand-painted the sack of toys and his coat. I used 5 layers of 24-carat gold leaf each on the sleigh, the balloons in his red sack, the words 'Merry Christmas', and on Santa's hat. It took a couple of days to slowly go over tiny parts of the letters with multiple layers of gold leaf to read merry Christmas. I then used a craft knife to scratch the surface of the egg where I needed to give the shell a bit of texture as I went along with carving it slowly chipping at it bit by bit.
As an Egg artist who hand carves eggshells into delicate and unusual sculptures that make for very thoughtful, sentimental, and rare gifts for special occasions, all year round, I am absolutely in love with this Ostrich eggshell lantern. It's taken me more than a month to finish and is truly a labour of love. I wasn't sure of the outcome on this one. I think it's safe to say that I am well pleased that I went out of my comfort zone and tried something different on this one.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the episode and the finished pieces you see here. Please share with me in your comments below.